KHF Board approves $4.8 million for COVID-19 vaccine effort and health equity grants

January 22, 2021

Media Contact Ashley Booker, 316-491-8414

WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) Board of Directors recently approved $4.8 million in grant funding for a COVID-19 vaccine initiative and to support health equity efforts in education, nutritious food access and leadership.

The following awards were recently approved by the KHF Board of Directors:

COVID-19 Response ($2.5 million):

To support the most equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the board approved up to $2.5 million in funding for programming and educational efforts to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is safely and widely available for all Kansans. Partnerships will focus on communities most at-risk and disproportionately affected by the virus, and also hardest to reach.

KHF has repurposed grant funds or provided additional support totaling more than $19.1 million for COVID-19 initiatives in 2020 and 2021.

Health Equity Support ($2.3 million)

$990,000 – Kansas Advocates for Equity, Education and Health

This three-year initiative in partnership with United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (for a total of $1.83 million), will help four Kansas nonprofit organizations (selected through a request for proposals process) shift systems impacting high-quality education to prepare students of color and those experiencing poverty for a successful learning experience. The initiative will focus on policy and systems change using whole-child and two-generation approaches to improve educational outcomes.

Check KHF’s website for more details about when and how to apply, which will be coming soon.

$810,000 – Kansas Appleseed’s Thriving Anti-Hunger Campaign

Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice will work to expand Child Nutrition Programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation across Kansas to increase families’ access to nutritious food. By furthering its anti-hunger work through research, advocacy and technical assistance for the next three years (starting in June 2021), Kansas Appleseed will continue to increase food security for those experiencing the greatest disparities – especially people of color, low-income, or living in households in rural communities.

SNAP continues to be an impactful way to improve access to nutritious food, especially during the pandemic and other times of critical need. Because of this, KHF has made several investments in SNAP advocacy/outreach – including various grants totaling $1.7 million to Kansas Appleseed since 2014 and through a $1.9 million investment in 2020 to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program across Kansas. This program helps SNAP individuals and families afford fresh produce by offering incentives at participating Kansas grocery stores and famers markets. 

$300,000 – Public Health Law Center Support

The Public Health Law Center will provide a range of technical assistance for KHF, its grantees and other partners to support progress toward policy solutions addressing the broader social determinants of health to improve racial and health equity in Kansas. This is a continuation of work with the Public Health Law Center, with technical assistance funding for various efforts totaling $1 million since 2013.

$165,000 – Building Inclusive Nonprofit Boards and Leadership in Kansas

Support Kansas City will fully implement its pilot project, “Board Diversity and Inclusion Initiative” to promote a more inclusive nonprofit sector by building a pipeline of talent from underrepresented populations prepared to serve in leadership roles within the nonprofit sector and helping nonprofit organizations shift their organizational culture and practices to be more inclusive and equitable across Kansas. In the last two years of this three-year initiative, Support Kansas City plans to transition its work beyond the Kansas City region.

KHF has a long history of supporting leadership development, through its founding and core support of the Kansas Leadership Center. The Support Kansas City project will help advance equity in leadership efforts across Kansas.

$100,000 – Convergence Partnership

To continue KHF’s participation with the Convergence Partnership as a member of its steering committee for 2021 and 2022, KHF will provide $50,000 per year to PolicyLink (the organization convening the partnership). The Convergence Partnership is a collaborative of national funders and healthcare organizations working through collective power to address structural and institutional barriers impacting health and wellbeing of low-income people and people of color.

KHF contributed $50,000 to join the Convergence Partnership national steering committee in 2020. In this role, KHF will continue to serve as an investor and organizer of regional philanthropy to build capacity within Kansas to advance health and racial equity.

In addition to these Board-approved initiatives, KHF funded an additional $125,000 for health improvement efforts in late 2020. Those included:

$50,000 – Exploration Place for its Inside Out Health Exhibit:

To focus galleries and permanent exhibits at Exploration Place on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education for children and families, to inspire fascination with the human body, encourage healthy behaviors and create more opportunities to explore careers in the healthcare industry. Virtual programming is being designed to increase access for students in rural and frontier counties to these types of educational experiences.

KHF provided grants totaling $5.5 million to Exploration Place since 1996 to support planning and “Exploring Human Life” exhibits.

$50,000 – Kansas University Endowment Association for “We Doctor Kansas:”

To contribute to phase II of the “We Doctor Kansas” campaign as it continues to inform South Central Kansas of the work being conducted by the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita to educate physicians and other medical professionals necessary to staff the Kansas healthcare system. This effort is especially important now with COVID-19 challenges bringing awareness to a need for more rural health providers across Kansas.

$25,000 – Just Food of Douglas County:

To assist with an expansion of Douglas County’s main food pantry and food bank that supplies over 30 partner agencies in Lawrence and Douglas County and serves up to 300 families daily to adequately and safely accommodate individuals during food service, nutrition counseling and health screenings.


About the Kansas Health Foundation

The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) is a nonprofit organization based in Wichita but statewide in its focus. At KHF, all our work centers on our mission: to improve the health of all Kansans. As part of a new strategic framework, developed by our staff and board of directors, KHF also strives to accomplish three primary purposes: empower Kansas to lead the nation in health; eliminate the inequities that create health disparities; and, for KHF to become THE model for philanthropic impact.

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